My thread got quickly closed with a reminder that I should post this here:
First of all I want to say that this is all speculation (good one I think)
1) So today we learn about the lay offs:
BioWare doctors Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka have posted a blurb on the official Star Wars: The Old Republic website confirming the downsizing of the game's development team. The update is short on details and long on superlatives relating to the sci-fi MMO's successful launch, so we're not sure who was laid off at this point.
This news follows shortly after Electronic Arts revealed that its subscriber numbers for Star Wars: The Old Republic have slipped recently, falling from 1.7 million paid members in February to 1.3 million. The publisher blamed the drop-off on fewer trial players and on casual customers who decided to not keep their subscriptions going.
"Some of those casual customers have gone through a billing cycle and have decided not to subscribe to the game," added EA Labels president Frank Gibeau.
When asked about the game's financial significance, EA CEO John Riccitiello said, "Its performance right now is in line with Madden, or The Sims, but it's more important than Tiger Woods PGA Tour."
Late last month, EA's BioWare division denied previous reports that subscriber counts has declined, and BioWare writer Daniel Erickson said the company is doing "anything and everything" to increase concurrent user numbers.
Despite the company's record year, the drop in subs -- as well as the company's reduced financial outlook -- have caused shareholders to offload stocks tonight. As of this writing, shares are down over 7 percent in after hours trading.
based on said materials I bet that the game isnt doing too good and EA and Bioware are slowly preparing for (possible not sure) downfall - partial or total (thats what I think of F2P games or MMOs with 2-3 servers)
2)Why dely server merge ?
We believe many investors are betting against SWTOR achieving market success, provided the company's (Warhammer Online from Mythic) and industry's track record at releasing successful new MMOs," suggests Hickey.
EA's last big MMORPG effort, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, became something of a cautionary tale in setting high expectations for a major MMO launch. Much was made of the title's potential to reinvent player combat and social dynamics in an online world, and the outspoken enthusiasm of Mythic co-founder Mark Jacobs played a role in the broad view that WAR represented EA's ambitious bid to challenge WoW.
But the title's launch was anticlimactic; despite drawing an impressive 500,000 subscribers in its first week, that number saw a rapid drop-off soon after, and a wave of server consolidations followed, giving the game's humble performance quite a visible profile.
Very recently, Realtime Worlds' All Points Bulletin gave game industry-watchers a new reminder of the devastating impact unsuccessful MMO launches can have on a company's operations, as the major studio closed, upending Scotland's game industry.
Other factors Hickey notices that might keep EA's shares a bit weighted include "a suspected subscription pricing model versus a market that is quickly transitioning to free to play, generally modest previews of the game and elevated development expense and suspected aggressive royalty to LucasArts."
-stockholders are afraid of repeating history
-most visible part of Warhammers downfall started when the server merges began
-stockholders may think 'oh servers merge ? that means somethings going bad I have to act' and start selling
3)Why all devs seem so nervous all the time (even in promos?)?
They’ve spent more money making the Old Republic than James Cameron spent on Avatar. **** you not. More than $ 300 million! Can you believe that?
And you know what they’re most proud of? This is the kicker. They are most proud of the sound. No seriously. Something like a 20Gig installation, and most of it is voiceover work. That’s the best they have. The rest of the game is a joke. EA knows it and so does George Lucas,they’re panicking , and so most of Mythic has already been cannibalized to work in Austin on it because they can’t keep pushing back launch.
Old Republic will be one of the greatest failures in the history of MMOs from EA. Probably at the level of the Sims Online. We all know it too ……
Anyway, back to Warhammer. We shouldn’t have released when we did, everyone knows it. The game wasn’t done, but EA gave us a deadline and threatened the leaders of Mythic with pink slips. We slipped so many times, it had to go out.
EA has poured more money and firepower into Star Wars: The Old Republic than it has any game in its 30-year history. Wall Street is closely watching to see if the game can succeed, since it could bring EA riches for years to come. If it struggles, EA’s earnings will be hurt in future quarters.
“‘Star Wars’ is a nice role-playing game but people are playing through it and leaving,” Mr. Mitchell said.
EA had been hoping to take on its biggest rival, Activision Blizzard, which had more than 10 million subscribers to World of Warcraft last quarter. “Warcraft” is the seven-year-old Internet game that is Activision’s most profitable franchise.
Once again - this is speculation. But interesting hmm ?